Lionel Messi made a dream start in Miami with an injury-time free-kick that gave Inter Miami a League Cup win over Cruz Azul
- Lionel Messi’s debut at Inter Miami went down in history
- In his agony, he scored a memorable free-kick that gave his team victory
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Lionel Messi’s time in Miami got off to an absolutely fabulous start on Friday when the Argentine world champion scored a 94th-minute free-kick to win the game.
Messi was expected to have around 30 minutes, but he played more than that and came on in the 54th minute with his side leading 1-0.
And it wasn’t long before he showed why his signing from Miami and MLS was so celebrated, as he swooped around the field several times and his teammates ducked behind defences.
Cruz Azul would level the game in the 65th minute but in the end there was too much time for Messi’s exploits as the home team won.
DeAndre Yedlin rolled the ball to Messi at the top of the box before the Argentine fell about 20 yards from goal.
Lionel Messi gave Inter Miami the walk-off victory with a stunning 94th-minute free-kick
It’s been a dream start to life in the United States for Messi, who zipped around the pitch in a free role
He will always stand over the free kick and circle the ball to the top left corner to win the game.
Messi and Busquet’s second-half appearances came after Miami took the lead through Robert Taylor late in the second half.
The winger kicked in with a right foot in the 44th minute and hit the far post of the net, the ball hitting the woodwork and going in goal.
It took Inter Miami four years of planning and two years of actual work to bring Messi to the club.
“It’s worth it,” co-owner David Beckham said earlier in the week.
How right he was.
When the half-time whistle sounded, no one left their seat. The reason: Messi was on the field. At the break, he warmed up with the other reserve players for about five minutes before they all went to the dressing room.
Miami now meets Atlanta in their next Leagues Cup game on Tuesday.